HHS General Administration Manual Part 30 Environmental Protection

(as of February 25, 2000)

SUBJECT: Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition

30-90-00- Background
30-90-05- Applicability
30-90-10- Responsibilities
30-90-15- Definitions
30-90-20- Roles of the Federal Environmental Executive and Agency Environmental Executives
30-90-30- Acquisition Planning and Affirmative Procurement Programs
30-90-40- Agency Goals and Reporting Requirements
30-90-50- Standards, Specifications and Designation of Items
30-90-60- Recycling and Recycling Awareness Programs
30-90-70- Real Property Acquisition and Management
30-90-80- Training
30-90-90- Compliance

30-90-00 -- Background

  1. Executive Order 13101. Executive Order 13101 requires Federal agencies to strive to increase the procurement of products that are environmentally preferable or that are made with recovered materials and to set goals to maximize the number of recycled products purchased, relative to non-recycled alternatives. Each agency is to establish either a goal for solid waste prevention and for recycling or a goal for solid waste diversion. It is the national policy to prefer pollution prevention, whenever feasible.

    Each Executive agency is to initiate a program, compatible with State and local requirements, to promote cost-effective waste prevention and recycling of reusable materials in all of its facilities. Federal agencies are also to consider cooperative ventures with State and local governments to promote recycling, and waste reduction in the community. The order directs that in acquisition planning and in the evaluation and award of contracts, agencies are to consider, among other factors, use of recovered materials, life cycle costs, and recyclability. Each Executive department and major procuring agency must establish model facility demonstration programs that include comprehensive waste prevention and recycling programs and emphasize the procurement of recycled and environmentally preferable products and services. A government-wide award will be presented annually by the White House to the best, most innovative program implementing the objectives of Executive Order 13101 to give greater visibility to these efforts so that they can be incorporated government-wide.

    Executive Order 13101 was effective immediately upon its issuance by the President on September 14, 1998. Executive Order 13101 revokes Executive Order 12873, dated October 20, 1993.

  2. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). Executive Order 13101 requires Federal agencies to comply with the sections of RCRA that cover Federal procurement of recycled products. Section 6002(c)(1) of RCRA (42 U.S.C. ' 6962(c)(1)) imposes a duty on Federal agencies to procure items "composed of the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable .... consistent with maintaining a satisfactory level of competition. . . ." The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by Section 6002 to develop guidelines that designate those items which are or can be produced with recovered materials and set forth recommended practices with respect to the procurement of recovered materials and items containing such materials. To assist procuring agencies in complying with the requirements of section 6002, EPA has issued guidelines for the Federal procurement of building insulation products containing recovered materials, cement and concrete containing fly ash, paper and paper products containing recovered materials, lubricating oils containing re-refined oil, and retread tires (see 40 CFR Part 247).

    RCRA 6002 also requires each procuring agency to develop an affirmative procurement program which will assure that items composed of recovered materials will be purchased to the maximum extent practicable and which is consistent with applicable provisions of Federal procurement law.

  3. OFPP Policy Letter 92-4. RCRA ' 6002 (42 U.S.C. ' 6962) requires the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) to issue coordinated policies to maximize Federal use of recovered material. Executive Order 13101 requires Federal agencies, consistent with policies established by OFPP Policy Letter 92-4 (57 FR 53362 (1992)), to comply with executive branch policies for the acquisition and use of environmentally preferable products and services and to implement cost-effective procurement preference programs favoring the purchase of these products and services. OFPP Policy Letter 92-4, establishes Executive branch policies for the acquisition and use of environmentally-sound, energy-efficient products and services. The OFPP Policy Letter also provides guidance to be followed by Executive agencies in implementing Section 6002 of RCRA.

    The OFPP Policy Letter requires the implementation of cost-effective procurement preference programs for the purchase of environmentally-sound, energy-efficient products and services. lt applies to Federal executive agencies that use appropriated Federal funds for procurement purposes. The Policy Letter provides direction for developing affirmative procurement programs and for the procurement of paper containing post-consumer waste. The letter also implements the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, 42 U.S.C. '' 6201-6422, and two Executive Orders.

    Policy Letter 92-4 directs executive agencies to consider energy conservation and efficiency factors in the procurement of property and services. It also requires Federal agencies to give preference in their procurement programs to practices and products that conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Energy conservation and efficiency data are to be considered, along with estimated cost and other relevant factors, in the development of purchase requests, invitations for bids and solicitations for offers. In addition, with respect to the procurement of consumer products, as defined under Part B, Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, agencies shall consider energy use/efficiency labels (42 U.S.C. ' 6294) and prescribed energy efficiency standards (42 U.S.C. ' 6295) in making purchasing decisions.

    The Policy Letter is intended to apply to all products and services. There are differing requirements for the guideline items than for other items.

30-90-05 -- Applicability

  1. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs. Consistent with the demands of efficiency and cost effectiveness, the head of each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall incorporate waste prevention and recycling in the organization's daily operations and work to increase and expand markets for recovered materials through greater Federal Government preference and demand for such products. Consistent with policies established by Office of Federal Procurement Policy ("OFPP") Policy Letter 92-4, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall comply with executive branch policies for the acquisition and use of environmentally preferable products and services and implement cost-effective procurement preference programs favoring the purchase of these products and services.

  2. Contractor Operated Facilities. Contracts that provide for contractor operation of a government-owned or leased facility and/or contracts, awarded after the effective date of Executive Order 13101, shall include provisions that obligate the contractor to comply with the requirements of the order within the scope of its operations. In addition, to the extent permitted by law and where economically feasible, existing contracts should be modified to include provisions that obligate the contractor to comply with the requirements of Executive Order 13101.

  3. Real Property Acquisition and Management. Within 90 days after the date of this order, and to the extent permitted by law and where economically feasible, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall ensure compliance with the provisions of this order in the acquisition and management of Federally owned and leased space. Agencies shall also include environmental and recycling provisions in the acquisition and management of all leased space and in the construction of new Federal buildings.

  4. Retention of Funds. The Administrator of General Services shall continue with the program that retains for the agencies the proceeds from the sale of materials recovered through recycling or waste prevention programs and specifying the eligibility requirements for the materials being recycled.

  5. Agencies in non-GSA Managed Facilities. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs, to the extent permitted by law, should develop a plan to retain the proceeds from the sale of materials recovered through recycling or waste prevention programs.

  6. Model Facility Programs. Each executive agency shall establish a model demonstration program incorporating some or all of the following elements as appropriate. Agencies are encouraged to demonstrate and test new and innovative approaches such as incorporating environmentally preferable and bio-based products; increasing the quantity and types of products containing recovered materials; expanding collection programs; implementing source reduction programs; composting organic materials when feasible; and exploring public/private partnerships to develop markets for recovered materials.

  7. Recycling Programs. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall designate a recycling coordinator for each facility or installation. The recycling coordinator shall implement or maintain waste prevention and recycling programs in the agencies' action plans. Agencies shall also consider cooperative ventures with State and local governments to promote recycling and waste reduction in the community.

30-90-10 -- Responsibilities

The head of each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall develop and implement to the maximum extent practicable affirmative procurement programs in accordance with RCRA section 6002 (42 U.S.C. ' 6962) and Executive Order 13101.

The head of each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall ensure that the organization meets or exceeds minimum materials content standards when purchasing or causing the purchase of printing and writing paper.

30-90-15 -- Definitions

  1. "Acquisition" means the acquiring by contract with appropriated funds for supplies or services (including construction) by and for the use of the Federal Government through purchase or lease, whether the supplies or services are already in existence or must be created, developed, demonstrated, and evaluated. Acquisition begins at the point when HHS organization needs are established and includes the description of requirements to satisfy organization needs, solicitation and selection of sources, award of contracts, contract financing, contract performance, contract administration, and those technical and management functions directly related to the process of fulfilling organization needs by contract.

  2. "Environmentally preferable" means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service.

  3. "Life Cycle Cost" means the amortized annual cost of a product, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of the product.

  4. "Life Cycle Assessment" means the comprehensive examination of a products environmental and economic effects throughout its lifetime including new material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal.

  5. "Postconsumer material" means a material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery, having completed its life as a consumer item. "Post-consumer material" is a part of the broader category of "recovered material".

  6. "Recovered materials" means waste materials and by-products which have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, but such term does not include those materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process (42 U.S.C. 6903 (19)).

    Manufacturing, forest residues, and other wastes also fit within the definition of "recovered materials". Such wastes include dry paper and paperboard waste generated after completion of the paper-making process; finished paper and paperboard from obsolete inventories of paper and paperboard manufacturers, merchants, wholesalers, dealers, printers, converters, or others; fibrous byproducts of harvesting, manufacturing, extractive, or wood-cutting processes; wastes generated by the conversion of goods made from fibrous material; and fibers recovered from waste water which otherwise would enter the waste- stream.

  7. "Recyclability" means the ability of a product or material to be recovered from, or otherwise diverted from, the solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling.

  8. "Recycling" means the series of activities, including collection, separation, and processing, by which products or other materials are recovered from the solid waste stream for use in the form of raw materials in the manufacture of new products other than fuel for producing heat or power by combustion.

  9. "Waste prevention" means any change in the design, manufacturing, purchase or use of materials or products (including packaging) to reduce their amount or toxicity before they become municipal solid waste. Waste prevention also refers to the reuse of products or materials.

  10. "Waste reduction" means preventing or decreasing the amount of waste being generated through waste prevention, recycling, or purchasing recycled and environmentally preferable products.

  11. "Pollution prevention" means "source reduction" as defined in the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through: (a) increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources; or (b) protection of natural resources by conservation.

  12. "Biobased product" means a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that utilizes biological products or renewable domestic agricultural (plant, animal, and marine) or forestry materials.

  13. "Major procuring agencies" shall include any executive agency that procures over $50 million per year of goods and services.

30-90-20 -- Roles of the Federal Environmental Executive and Agency Environmental Executives

  1. Federal Environmental Executive. The Federal Environmental Executive is designated by the President and is located within the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"). The Federal Environmental Executive is authorized to take all actions necessary to ensure that Federal agencies comply with the requirements of Executive Order 13101. The Federal Environmental Executive's responsibilities include:

    1. Identifying and recommending initiatives for government-wide implementation that will promote the purposes of Executive Order 13101, including:

      1. The development of a government-wide Waste Prevention and Recycling Strategic Plan for implementation of Executive Order 13101 and appropriate incentives to encourage the acquisition of recycled and environmentally preferable products by the Federal Government,

      2. Chairing the Task Force under the steering committee established by Executive Order 13101, and

      3. Preparing a biennial report on this Order.

    The Federal Environmental Executive will establish committees and work groups to identify, assess, and recommend actions to be taken to fulfill the goals, responsibilities, and initiatives of the Federal Environmental Executive. As these committees and work groups are created, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs may be requested to designate appropriate personnel in the areas of procurement and acquisition, standards and specifications, electronic commerce, facilities management, waste prevention, and recycling, and others as needed to staff and work on the initiatives of the Executive. OPDIVs/ STAFFDIVs shall make their services, personnel and facilities available to the Federal Environmental Executive to the maximum extent practicable for the performance of functions under Executive Order 13101.

  2. HHS Environmental Executive. Executive Order 13101 requires the Secretary to designate an Agency Environmental Executive, who serves at a level no lower than at the Assistant Secretary level or equivalent. The Agency Environmental Executive is responsible for:

    1. Translating the Government-wide Strategic Plan into specific agency and service plans;

    2. Implementing the specific agency and service plans;

    3. Reporting to the Federal Environmental Executive (FEE) on the progress of plan implementation;

    4. Working with the FEE and the Task Force in furthering implementation of this order;

    5. Tracking agencies' purchases of EPA-designated guideline items and reporting agencies' purchases of such guideline items to the FEE per the recommendations developed in this Order. Agency acquisition and procurement personnel shall justify in writing to the file and the Agency Environmental Executive (AEE) the rationale for not purchasing such items, above the micropurchase threshold, and submit a plan and timetable for increasing agency purchases of the designated items(s);

    6. One year after a product is placed on the USDA Biobased Products List, estimating agencies' purchases of products on the list and reporting agencies' estimated purchases of such products to the Secretary of Agriculture; and

    7. Reviewing Departmental programs and acquisitions to ensure compliance with this Order.

30-90-30 -- Acquisition Planning and Affirmative Procurement Programs

  1. Acquisition Planning. In developing plans, drawings, work statements, specifications, or other product descriptions, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall consider, as appropriate, a broad range of factors including:

    • Elimination of virgin material requirements;

    • Use of recovered materials;

    • Reuse of product;

    • Life cycle cost;

    • Recyclability;

    • Use of environmentally preferable products;

    • Waste prevention (including toxicity reduction or elimination); and

    • Ultimate disposal, as appropriate

    These factors should be considered in acquisition planning for all procurements and in the evaluation and award of contracts, as appropriate. Program and acquisition managers should take an active role in these activities.

  2. OPDIV/STAFFDIV Responsibilities. In accordance with OFPP Policy Letter 924, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall:

    1. Identify and procure needed products and services that, all factors considered, are environmentally-sound and energy-efficient;

    2. Procure products, including packaging, that contain the highest percentage of recovered materials, and where applicable, post-consumer waste, consistent with performance requirements, availability, price reasonableness, and cost effectiveness;

    3. Employ life cycle cost analysis, whenever feasible and appropriate, to assist in making product and service selections;

    4. Use product descriptions and specifications that reflect cost-effective use of recycled products, recovered materials, water efficiency devices, remanufactured products and energy-efficient products, materials and practices;

    5. Work with private standard setting organizations and participate, pursuant to OMB Circular No. A-119, in the development of voluntary standards and specifications defining environmentally-sound, energy-efficient products, practices and services;

    6. Require vendors to certify the percentage of recovered materials used, when contracts are awarded wholly or in part on the basis of utilization of recovered materials;

    7. Assure, when drafting or reviewing specifications for required items, that the specifications:

      1. do not exclude the use of recovered materials;

      2. do not unnecessarily require the item to be manufactured from virgin materials; and

      3. require the use of recovered materials and environmentally-sound components to the maximum extent practicable without jeopardizing the intended end use of the item; and

    8. Arrange for the procurement of solid waste management services in a manner which maximizes energy and resource recovery. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs that generate heat, mechanical, or electrical energy from fossil fuel in systems that have the technical capability of using energy or fuel derived from solid waste as a primary or supplementary fuel shall use such capability to the maximum extent practicable.

  3. Affirmative Procurement Programs. RCRA ' 6002(i) (42 U.S.C. ' 6962(i)) requires the development of an affirmative procurement program for each item that is covered by an EPA guideline. The affirmative procurement program is to assure that items composed of recovered materials will be purchased to the maximum extent practicable, consistent with applicable provisions of Federal procurement law.

    1. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall establish affirmative procurement programs for each of the items covered by guidelines developed by the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to subsection 6002(e) of RCRA (see 40 CFR 247). For newly designated items, OPDIVs/ STAFFDIVs shall revise their internal programs within one year from the date EPA designated the new items. OPDlVs/STAFFDIVs shall ensure that responsibilities for preparation, implementation and monitoring of affirmative procurement programs are shared between program personnel and procurement personnel. The responsibility to establish an affirmative procurement program applies only to purchases of guideline items costing $10,000 or more or where the quantity of such items, or of functionally-equivalent items, acquired in the course of the preceding year was $10,000 or more.

    2. For designated EPA guideline items, excluding biobased products as described in this Executive Order, OPDIVs./STAFFDIVs shall ensure that their affirmative procurement programs require that 100 percent of their purchases of products meet or exceed the EPA guideline standards unless written justification is provided that a product is not available competitively within a reasonable time frame, does not meet appropriate performance standards, or is only available at an unreasonable price. Written justification is not required for purchases below the micropurchase threshold. For micropurchases, agencies shall provide guidance regarding purchase of EPA-designated guideline items. This guidance should encourage consideration of aggregating purchases when this method would promote economy and efficiency

    3. Program Elements. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV affirmative procurement program, at a minimum, must comply with RCRA subsection 6002(i) and must:

      1. State a preference for the procurement of the item covered by the EPA guideline;

      2. Promote the cost-effective procurement of the covered item;

      3. Require estimates of the total amount of the recovered item used in a contract, certification of the minimum amount actually used, where appropriate, and procedures for verifying the estimates and certifications;

      4. Provide for the annual review and monitoring of the effectiveness of the program; and

      5. Include one of the following options, or a substantially equivalent alternative, to insure that contracts for items covered by the guidelines are awarded, unless a waiver is granted, on the basis of;

      6. Case-by-case procurement, open competition between products made of virgin materials and products containing recovered materials; preference to be given to the latter, or

      7. Minimum-content standards, which identify the minimum content of recovered materials that an item must contain to be considered for award.

    4. Waiver. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are to base decisions to waive, or not to procure, EPA guideline items composed of the highest percentages of recovered materials practicable on a determination that such items:

      1. Are not reasonably available within the time required;

      2. Fail to meet the performance standards set forth in applicable specifications or fail to meet the reasonable performance standards of the procuring agencies; or

      3. Are only available at an unreasonable price

    5. The Agency Environmental Executive will track purchases of designated EPA guideline items and report purchases of such guideline items to the Federal Environmental Executive when requested.

      1. Agencies shall implement the EPA procurement guidelines for re-refined lubricating oil and retread tires. Fleet and commodity managers shall take immediate steps, as appropriate, to procure these items in accordance with section 6002 of RCRA. This provision does not preclude the acquisition of biobased (e.g., vegetable) oils

      2. The FEE shall work to educate executive agencies about the new Department of Defense Cooperative Tire Qualification Program, including the Cooperative Approval Tire List and Cooperative Plant Qualification Program, as they apply to retread tires.

30-90-40 -- Agency Goals and Reporting Requirements

Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall establish either a goal for solid waste prevention and a goal for recycling or a goal for solid waste diversion to be achieved by January 1, 2000. Each agency shall further ensure that the established goals include long-range goals to be achieved by the years 2005 and 2010. These goals shall be submitted to the FEE within 180 days after the date of this Order.

In addition to white paper, mixed paper/cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and glass, agencies should incorporate into their recycling programs efforts to recycle, reuse, or refurbish pallets and collect toner cartridges for re-manufacturing. Agencies should also include programs to reduce or recycle, as appropriate, batteries, scrap metal, and fluorescent lamps and ballasts.

30-90-50 -- Standards, Specifications and Designation of Items

  1. Designation of Items that Contain Recovered Materials. EPA shall designate Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines containing designated items that are or can be made with recovered materials. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall modify their affirmative procurement programs to require that, to the maximum extent practicable, their purchases of products meet or exceed the EPA guideline standards unless written justification is provided that a product is not available competitively, not available within a reasonable time frame, does not meet appropriate performance standards, or is only available at an unreasonable price. Concurrently with the issuance of the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, EPA will publish Recovered Material Advisory Notice(s) that present the range of recovered material content levels within which the designated recycled items are currently available. These levels will be updated periodically to reflect changes in market conditions.

  2. Guidance for Environmentally Preferable Products. In accordance with Executive Order 13101, EPA will issue guidance that Executive agencies should use in making determinations for the preference and purchase of environmentally preferable products. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are to use this guidance, to the maximum extent practicable, in identifying and purchasing environmentally preferable products and shall modify their procurement programs by reviewing and revising specifications, solicitation procedures, and policies as appropriate. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs may develop pilot projects to provide practical information to the EPA for further updating of the guidance.

  3. Designation of Biobased Items by the USDA. The USDA Biobased Products Coordination Council shall, in consultation with the FEE, issue a Biobased Products List. The biobased Products List shall be published in the Federal Register by the USDA within 180 days after the date of this Order and shall be updated biannually after publication to include additional items. Once the Biobased Products List has been published, agencies are encouraged to modify their affirmative procurement program to give consideration to those products.

  4. Minimum Content Standard for Printing and Writing Paper. Heads of OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs heads shall ensure their organizations meet or exceed the following minimum materials content standards when purchasing or causing the purchase of printing and writing paper:

    1. For high speed copier paper, offset paper, forms bond, computer printout paper, carbonless paper, file folders, white woven envelopes, writing and office paper, book paper, cotton fiber paper, and cover stock, the minimum content standard shall be no less than 30 percent post-consumer materials beginning December 31, 1998. If paper containing 30 percent post-consumer material is not reasonably available, does not meet reasonable performance requirements, or is only available at an unreasonable price, then the agency shall purchase paper containing no less than 20 percent post-consumer material. The Steering Committee, in consultation with the AEEs, may revise these levels if necessary.

    2. As an alternative to meeting the foregoing standards for all printing and writing papers, the minimum content standard shall be no less than 50 percent recovered materials that are a waste material byproduct of a finished product other than a paper or textile product which would otherwise be disposed of in a landfill, as determined by the State in which the facility is located.

  5. Effective January 1, 1999, no executive branch agency shall purchase, sell, or arrange for the purchase of, printing and writing paper that fails to meet the minimum requirements of this section.

30-90-60 -- Recycling and Recycling Awareness Programs

  1. Recycling Program. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall designate a recycling coordinator for each facility or installation. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall initiate a program to promote cost-effective waste prevention and recycling of reusable materials in all of its facilities. Each facility recycling program must be compatible with applicable state and local recycling requirements. Each facility shall also consider cooperative ventures with state and local governments to promote recycling and waste reduction in the community

  2. Awards Programs. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall develop an internal awards program, as appropriate, to reward its most innovative environmental programs. Winners of OPDIV/STAFFDIV awards will be eligible for annual HHS and White House awards programs. The White House will annually present an award to the best, most innovative program implementing the objectives of Executive Order 13101.

  3. Model Facility Programs. Executive Order 13101 requires HHS to establish a model facility demonstration program incorporating some or all of the following elements as appropriate. Agencies are encouraged to demonstrate and test new and innovative approaches such as incorporating environmentally preferable and bio-based products; increasing the quantity and types of products containing recovered materials; expanding collection programs; implementing source reduction programs; composting organic materials when feasible; and exploring public/private partnerships to develop markets for recovered materials.

30-90-70 -- Real Property Acquisition and Management

Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV, to the extent permitted by law and where economically feasible, shall ensure compliance with the provisions of Executive Order 13101 in the acquisition and management of Federally owned and leased space. Environmental and recycling provisions shall be included in the acquisition of all leased space and in the construction of new Federal buildings.

30-90-80 -- Training

Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall provide training to program management and requesting activities as needed to ensure awareness of the requirements of this Order.

30-90-90 -- Compliance

Review of Implementation. The HHS Inspector General, at the request of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE), will periodically review OPDIVs'/STAFFDIVs' affirmative procurement programs and reporting procedures to ensure their compliance with Executive Order 13101.

Last Revised: October 17, 2003